AHMEDABAD: Last-minute negotiations between the Congress and the Hardik Patel camp in Ahmedabad on Monday night seem to have rescued what looked like a collapsed deal earlier in the day.
The Congress, desperate to keep alive a deal with the agitating Patidars, changed its first list of 77 to accommodate four candidates of the choice of Hardik Patel.
Tuesday is the last day for filing nominations for the first phase of elections. Covering other social bases, the Congress also kept aside three seats for JD(U) leader Chhotubhai Vasava, a prominent tribal face. There are 27 reserved ST seats out of the total 182 in the Gujarat Assembly.
After former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the Congress in-charge for Gujarat, emerged after intense confabulations, it was clear that Hardik is using the situation to get his way over other leaders from the Patidar agitation, like PAAS convenor Dinesh Bhambania.
The BJP is keen to deflect any possible electoral impact of the Patidar agitation, and the Congress wants to maximise gains from it. A pitched battle is on, therefore, to secure the loyalties of key figures involved in
The Congress has reportedly offered a new formula to clinch a 10 per cent reservation for Patidars. This involves defining them as "socially and educationally backward". A previous attempt to have a quota for
"economically poor" was struck down by the High Court.